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Katharina Hamnett

Katharina Hamnett, the world foremost environmentalist designer in the 1980’s. The revolutionary fashion designer Katharina Hamnett continued the crusade on her own in the 1980s, her t-shirts graphics symbols and slogans criticised the geopolitical situation. Katharine Hamnett was the most successful example of bridging the gap between designer street fashion and the designer shop fashion.

She set up her own company in 1979 with a loan (reported to be a loan), and along with Vivienne Westwood, processed to dominate British fashion in the 1980s. She was the first designer to utilise prewashed parachute silks and unisex utility clothing. In 1983 she launched the first range of slogans t-shirts with the “choose life” collection. Inspired by a Buddhist exhibition, it included slogans such as “worldwide Nuclear Ban Now” and “EDUCATION Not Missiles.”

A theme she continued pursued in 84 when she confronted Margarete Thatcher at a Downing Street reception wearing one of her outsize t-shirts bearing the legend “58% Don’t Want Pershing” slogan. She continued to merge fashion and politics throughout the 80s with her post-feminist woman “Power Dressing” collection. (source The Encyclopedia of the 80s A decade of ideas. Compiled and produced by i-D magazine. Published by Penguin Books first published 1990)


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